Categorized as: ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT

Athlete Spotlight: Michelle C.

What did you do for fitness before CrossFit? Did you play any sports growing up? Mainly Cardio and Yoga. I was a gymnast for 12 years and I played softball and soccer as a child. 

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? I took a Bootcamp class years ago at a CrossFit gym.

What was your first workout and how did it go? How did you feel after? I don’t remember what the first workout was but I remember afterward I was exhausted 

Favorite CF Movements: All of the weightlifting exercises. 

Least Favorite Movements: Wall balls

Favorite Cheat Meal: Cookies 

Favorite Healthy Meal: Spinach salad with goat cheese and cranberries 

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you? I meditate daily.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I have lost fat and am more toned. I am also much stronger and have more energy. 

What sort of unexpected changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit? My health and fitness goals have completely shifted from weight loss goals to strength training goals and skill goals. 

Any advice for people just getting started or new to CrossFit? Do not be afraid and make sure your nutrition is in check. 

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I do yoga and I keep a garden. I love to travel and I am a regular at the beach! I coach girls soccer and I love to watch sports. I am a pescatarian and an excellent baker. 

 

Athlete Spotlight: Risa M.

Hometown:  born in Gainesville, FL but grew up in Sarasota, FL

Age: 55

Profession:  Veterinarian, small animal

What did you do for fitness before CrossFit? Varies gyms, hot yoga, Beachbody

Did you play any sports growing up? I rode horses – Dressage to be specific

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit?  My oldest son got in to it in high school and is now a XFit coach in Gainesville, FL while at UF

What was your first workout and how did it go? How did you feel after?  I don’t remember first one – remember I promised my daughter I would go with her to get her started in it before she could drive herself.  We tried different times of day – dreading the 5:30am class but have not looked back since my first early morning class. Love getting it out of the way and setting the rest of my day up to succeed.

Favorite CF Movements: Deadlift cause I can lift heavy (at least, I think I can!)

Least Favorite Movements: Running cause it kills me every time

Favorite Cheat Meal: Does Alcohol count as a meal?!

Favorite Healthy Meal:  Sous Vide Chicken breast on a salad of greens.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?  I’m always working on my “spirituality”

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)?  I’m so proud of my muscle tone in my abs and arms especially for my age

What sort of unexpected changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit?  Bravery and Confidence – Finishing some classes you really feel like “if I can do that, I can take on anything the rest of the day hands me”!

Any advice for people just getting started or new to CrossFit? One day at a time – small steps really do add up in just a few months!

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?  Hot Yoga!  It is a challenge all XFitters need to take on to balance out all the heavy lifting and running!!

 

Member Spotlight: How An All-American Runner Mentally Prepares For A Race

Coach Kasye Beza is the head cross-country coach for The Community School of Naples. A three-time All American 400m runner, she holds the school record at Truman for that distance. 

How did you prepare mentally for race day?

When I ran track, I used to get myself into a “zone of focus before a race. I would complete my warm-up routine and stare down the lanes. I would tell myself I belonged there and that I owned the track. I would actually start yawning before a race because I was so relaxed.

During a race, I don’t remember thinking about anything, just doing it and pushing through the pain. I didn’t care what lane I was assigned or who else was in the race, or whether it was snowing, raining or hot outside. I did not let outside factors influenced me. We did a lot of drills and race modeling so my body knew what to do.

When I finished a race, I would return to a normal state instantly. I would be happy and cheerful, not tired, not stressed, no more yawning or tunnel vision.  Of note, my friend and teammate used to talk to herself aloud all the time and we all thought it was hilarious. Mine was more internal. 

How is this different from CrossFit training? 

At the gym, I can’t always be mindless because I am not always competing and I have to think about the movements more.  There are days when I do get into the zone and become blank, and there are days when I talk myself through a rep scheme or count a rhythm in my head. It’s easier for me when I have a number to strive for in a workout.

For instance, today, Coach told us that we were going to perform max rep push press for a minute but I didn’t know how many that would translate to. When he said we should get 20 reps, that was something I understood. I could focus on that number and achieve it, whereas, without that cue, I would not have felt as good. I didn’t stop at 20 if I could do more, but I also knew that 20 was a reasonable goal. Sometimes AMRAPS are hard for me because I want to know how many rounds I should get. I guess I am still getting used to the time element for CrossFit, which is different than it is for other activities, like running. 

Is it hard for you to commit to training? 

Left to my own devices, it is never a question for me whether or not to go to the gym. That is the same to me as for whether or not I’m going to shower today or go to work. Since it’s just part of my day, it isn’t ever an emotional decision whether or not to go. I wake up, I go to the bathroom. I put on my gym clothes. I’m  genuinely happy to be starting my day. I rarely even look ahead to see the workout unless I have a wardrobe consideration to make.

What’s hard is when I am on vacation or with other people. It’s hard for me to assert myself to others that I want to work out because I think it will be inconvenient for them or they will make fun of me. So, unless I can wake up early and sneak a workout in, I don’t usually do a workout when I am with other people.